I go to the village shop.
At the counter is a young lad of around (I’d guess) eleven or twelve, still in his school uniform.
“What can I get you?” asks the village shop lady.
“Some cheese, please,” is the reply. “A big bit.” He holds out his pocket money.
The village shop lady ascertains the quantity of cheese required, and cuts it for him. “Is this for you?” she asks. It is for him – a big wodge of cheddar. Posh cheddar. Keene’s, if you must know.
“That’ll be £3.11,” says the village shop lady. “Are you sure you have enough money?”
The lad does have enough money, and disappears off, happily, clutching his cheese. We watch him depart.
“You shouldn’t have sold him that,” I warn.
“What do you mean?”
“Under sixteen. Buying cheese. He might be going to sniff it.”
The village shop lady looks at me in bewilderment.
“Sniff it. Kids do that these days. Like glue.”
She goes slightly red. “You’re joking,” she says, with an enormous doubt in her voice that only the incomprehension between different generations can provide.
“That’s why you’re not allowed to sell it to under sixteens. Haven’t you seen them at the bus shelter in the evenings, hanging around with their cheese?”
“I don’t believe it,” she breathes, with a shake of her head. “I don’t believe it.”
“I’d just be a bit careful, that’s all,” I warn her kindly. I pay for my groceries and leave.
I must get a life.